Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lemon cranberry muffins

So I got yet another new cooking magazine to try this month.  I broke it in today by trying 3 different recipes..... And we have a winner!!  All 3 recipes were very good.  Not to mention the fact that the magazine is called Eating well and supports healthy eating without being over the top.  Totally my kind of magazine.  Plus, did I mention the food we had today was all really good?  So, the first thing I tried this morning was Lemon Cranberry muffins.  Usually I don't have time to cook a nice breakfast on a Sunday morning because I'm busily getting everyone ready for church, but today I had 2 staying home with the flu, which meant I didn't have to get myself or 2 boys ready.  So, of course I took advantage and made breakfast.  I originally chose this because I still have cranberries in my fridge I'm hoping to use before they go totally bad, and I like lemon things at breakfast. - Lemon ricotta pancakes are one of my favorites.  So, this was a perfect fit.
These muffins turned out so nice.  I was a bit worried when they came out of the oven because they looked a bit flat, but they were perfectly airy, with a bit of crispness from the cornmeal, and the flavor was wonderful.  Just sweet enough with the sugar, but still had a lovely cranberry and lemon tang.  The texture was so good Brandon said "You used the muffin method" (Alton Brown speak) on these?"  I asked why - he told me because the air holes were uneven..... not sure on the rest.  I was just proud he noticed and liked the texture enough to comment on it.  I also was very surprised they didn't really taste wheaty.  I expected using wheat flour to have some wheat flavor, but the lemon took that away.  I could vaguely make out the cornmeal flavor, but that is it.
I would venture to guess that if you make these in a regular sized muffin pan they would even come out a bit prettier.  (My pan is a bit small.  I couldn't find my regular sized pan, and I didn't have time to look - I still did have to get 2 boys and DH out the door to church on time.)  I would also like to have put the lemon rind on the top like the recipe said, but I accidentally threw all 3 teaspoons in at once because I didn't see the "divided" word on the recipe list because it came after something that said "see lemon lessons opposite - which I did go and read. )  Anyway, I would totally try that next time.   I did not use 2 Tablespoons sugar on top. I just sprinkled some, but it wasn't that much.  Those were my only changes.  I just checked out the website and found the recipe here.  I'm posting it with my notes added.


  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided (I didn't use the full 2 Tablespoons)
  • 3/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest, divided (this took 2 lemons for me)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour (I used home ground - I have white wheat)
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal, (I used home ground)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen (thawed), coarsely chopped (toss in food processor)

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
  2. Whisk 1/2 cup sugar, yogurt, oil, egg, 2 teaspoons lemon zest (I accidentally added all of it), lemon juice and vanilla in a medium bowl.
  3. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the yogurt mixture and fold until almost blended. Gently fold in cranberries. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and remaining l teaspoon lemon zest in a small bowl. (I forgot this part - still good, but I would try it in the future.- maybe only using 1 Tablespoon sugar because 2 seemed like a lot.)  Sprinkle evenly over the tops of the muffins.
  4. Bake the muffins until golden brown and they spring back lightly to the touch, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

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